Archie Thompson was on the scoresheet against Sydney FC last week. Picture: Paul Miller/AAP
Since opening their season with back-to-back losses against Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar, Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory has won three of its past four matches. They face their toughest test to date when they face the table-topping Central Coast Mariners at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night however.
After coming from 2-0 down against Sydney FC to win 3-2 last weekend, Melbourne Victory will believe that anything is possible when they take on the Mariners. University student Andrew Nabbout was the hero against the Blues with a brace, while Socceroo star Archie Thompson was on the scoresheet for the second time this campaign. Although scoring goals hasn’t been a problem for Victory, keeping them out has been. Four goals have been conceded in the past fortnight and skipper Adrian Leijer and his defensive colleagues will need to tighten things up at the back if they are to get three points against the competition’s joint top scorers.
Mariners striker Daniel McBreen scored his fifth goal of the season to sink Wellington 1-0 last Sunday and will pose a huge threat to Melbourne’s shaky defence. The English born veteran is joint top scorer in the A-League and has found the back of the net four times in his sides past two matches. While Graham Arnold’s team put seven goals past Sydney FC a fortnight ago, its defence is the reason they occupy top spot on the table. Central Coast has kept four clean sheets in the opening six weeks of the new campaign and has been incredibly hard to break down in midfield.
Melbourne Victory scored a 2-1 win over the Mariners when the sides last met, in February.
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